I haven’t got any exciting new adventures to report. The same rushing down to the beach in the afternoons to get the last 15 minutes of light (yes, that’s light, not sun). I’ve been surfing a little, nothing dramatic – watching the surf-cams at work; glassy all day and then the wind change come late afternoon.
The weekend before last was a public holiday. I woke up early on Saturday and went down to the beach. I drank coffee and ate breakfast in the morning quiet. I watched a guy come down to inspect the surf – all hopeful then disappointed like I’d been. I pegged him as a schoolboy. Tall and lean. I watched; noting trackies and thongs, and wondered if his feet were cold. He went out and I followed.
The sky was overcast but glints of sunlight kept banging through the clouds, indiscriminately beautifying all the things, making bits and pieces glow. Caught a shitty little wind-churned left, then bobbled back out to this great big smile of the ‘boy’ I’d been watching. The ocean was messy and small. I paddled around searching for a little face but there were just take-offs and whitewash, and I gradually headed North up the beach. And the questions followed, in an accent I couldn’t quite pick, chasing me from peak to peak. This curious snowboarding oceanographer from the French Alps, grilling me about surfing, and this spot, and what were the biggest waves I’d ever surfed? and how big did it get here? and how cold it was! and how glad he was that all the weed had gone! and the wind! and the cold! and how perfect it had been during the week! And me, paddling around catching these tiny little fucking waves.
Then Monday. I drove down to the beach and everything was smothered in fog.
I wandered down to the end of the beach to inspect the new manatee like lumps looming up into the day.
And it was eerie, and queer, and oh. so. quiet. It was glassy and smooth, with shards of swell welling up into the morning, calling, ‘come, play’. I went out for hours. I had this little peak where the left was fine, but the right landed you itching into weed soup. I saw my French Alpian friend on the shore, and we waved at one another, and I motioned him to come in. The wind had hit by then, and I was embarrassed at bringing him into this seaweedy stew. He asked if I wanted to go elsewhere and I gladly followed. We drove up to Leighto and went out in tiny clean and glowing green peaks, and by then I was exhausted. I answered all the questions and caught a few little sunlit waves, then paddled in and spent the rest of the day in bed.
I love being out in the day and watching the fluctuations of the weather. It’s so capricious here at the moment. A day that starts black and thick with fog until the sun comes out and it’s a whole different playground. The glassiness of the water begins to simmer slightly in the wind. The body of weed surging in the waves shifts a little closer with the current. The waves drop and the tide sucks. A secret little world that morphs endlessly into new forms.
The next Saturday the world started with a burst of colour and then just greyed out. The surf was mush and I didn’t go out until late afternoon when I drove back down and noticed the wind had dropped and it was glassy and lush and I had to race home and grab my board and it was just like when I rush home from work with the dying light, and I paddled out, and it was cold and blackening and I didn’t catch a wave at all and felt ridiculous, yet somehow buoyant after.